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Lauren Appelbaum

New members include cross section of national leaders from Hollywood, public policy and the private sector Rockville, Md., Nov. 22 – As RespectAbility enters its eighth year of fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community, five new individuals are joining RespectAbility’s 30-member board as new [click to continue...]

A new Warner Bros. film “The Witches” is coming under fire for its depiction of a villain who has “split hands,” perpetuating harmful stereotypes against people with limb differences. Unfortunately, this is a stereotype that has existed in films for decades and leads to people being afraid of those who look different from them. “The [click to continue...]

Washington, D.C., Oct. 21 – With one in four adults having a disability, the national, nonpartisan disability inclusion organization RespectAbility is urging pollsters and polling firms to include people who live with a physical, sensory, cognitive or other disability in their polling data. For decades pollsters have included demographics by race, gender, age and educational [click to continue...]

 Los Angeles, California, Oct. 15 – As a new California law again leaves out people with disabilities, a new PSA featuring Californians with disabilities shows the value of inclusion. On September 30, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a first-in-the-country mandate that will require boards of publicly traded companies headquartered in California to [click to continue...]

Washington, D.C., October 9 – A grant from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation supporting RespectAbility’s virtual National Leadership Fellowship will provide four exceptionally talented adults with spinal cord injuries (SCI) with intensive training to foster advance opportunities for the SCI community in public policy, civic engagement and the film and television industry. Even before the [click to continue...]

“Disability inclusion is win-win for studios – driving equity and profitability” Los Angeles, California, Sept. 24 – A new study has found there has been a significant increase in the number of leads/co-leads with disabilities in the 100 top-grossing films of 2019. Indeed, a total of 19 films featured a lead or co-lead character with [click to continue...]

Los Angeles, California, Sept. 18 – A new episode of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-nominated series Big City Greens is breaking barriers when it comes to ensuring authentic deaf representation. In the “Quiet Please” episode, the Green family visits the city library hoping to find a book that will spark Cricket’s interest in reading, but they [click to continue...]

Los Angeles, California, Sept. 17 – A new film recently premiered on Netflix that is very intentional about meaningful representation and authentic casting. All Together Now features Anthony Jacques, who is on the Autism spectrum and Gerald Isaac Waters, who uses a wheelchair. Both Jacques and Waters’ characters are multi-dimensional and not defined by their disabilities. “As [click to continue...]

Initiative Highlights Importance of Behind the Camera and Development of Talent Pipeline RespectAbility congratulates The Academy for their diversity and inclusion initiative. This has the potential to bring about some real change in the entertainment industry. We are especially pleased to see people with disabilities included, as too often disability is not included in diversity [click to continue...]

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Respect Ability - Fighting Stigmas. Advancing Opportunities.


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